Here ya go. This fine work is by someone named Mary Kenny, who I suppose is someone remotely important in Ireland. Anyway, the atheist bus ads are soon to arrive in Ireland and this REALLY has her panties in a twist, inspiring her to both claim that atheists are “miserable blighters” and that all the increases in suicides, crime and so forth, including some big news story there about some “Baby P”, are all due to atheism. Yawn. So I saw that the contact info is available at the Dawkins site so I thought what the hell? Let’s write the cranky cunt…

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I happened upon the article online concerning the atheist bus, but had to hunt around to see who was the author and of course how to comment on the article so here I am. Anyway, I found it quite comical. I’m not sure what constitutes a “militant atheist” nor why you’d have such trouble finding happy atheists, but if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it might be because when you see them you greet them by calling them “miserable blighters” and then proceed to elaborate further on just how you feel about them, which isn’t very nice.

I concur with your belief in the freedom of speech, so far be it from me to cry for things like this article to be pulled from publication. I just find it incredibly amusing to be making a case for how sad, angry and miserable the atheists are while being pathetically sad, angry and miserable yourself, spewing vitriol upon the page. Perhaps if you were a ray of sunshine then you’d have some position of example from which to speak from but it seems you don’t. If you’re right, and atheism makes one sad and miserable, then you’re proof that belief in a god doesn’t help that situation either. 

Just as your belief has failed to make you a charming person, so too has it failed to deal with the plethora of vices you laid at the feet of atheists. I certainly would love to hear how you connect the dots by the way, showing how atheism is the cause in the rises of such things beyond simply offering your belief that its true, but in any event, those vices are not new, are they? So your god belief is no guarantee against such things, is it, despite all the bluster about “a spiritual sense of purpose” and so forth? Also, in light of your insinuation that atheism is responsible for your Baby P tragedy, let me share with you just one of many instances of a child tragedy where Christian belief was directly responsible. 

Well no doubt it’s fun and easy to pick on minorities in Ireland, and doing so sells, as does stirring up controversy, so I’m sure your article contributes to all that, but as far as arguing your opinion? I think you failed miserably. Just as you claimed the atheist bus galvanizes Christians, so too does your hate filled rant galvanize atheists as well as religious moderates who, unlike you, actually subscribe to the sentiments of peace, love and charity which supposedly are what they’re all about, and are quite put off by statements such as yours. If I was a believing man, I’d say I’d pray for your hard heart to soften, but as I’m not, I’ll simply say that I hope for your sake you eventually discover a sense of joie-de-vivre which you unfairly attack others for allegedly lacking.

Have a nice day

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I wonder if I’ll get a reply?

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26 Responses to “Angry Irish Christian attacks atheists over UK atheist bus ads”

  1. She says that A life without a spiritual sense of purpose, or the moral parameters set by the Ten Commandments — is a living hell.

    I suppose she believes that a life guided by the purposes of an egotistical deity who squandered 40% of his most important rules telling people exactly how to worship him is heaven. And the reward for good behavior is – more heaven.

    Thanks, but I’ll pass on that one.

  2. If a spiritual sense of purpose tells you to be a vitriolic cunt who must attack others different than you by making ridiculous claims about them and laying the worst of the world’s woes at their feet, maybe it’s time to rethink that sense.

  3. If my life is misery for being an atheist, I like that kind of misery. :)

  4. You mentioned,

    ..attack(ing) others different than you by making ridiculous claims about them.. (paren. mine)

    Not defending your opponent or anything, but that’s exactly how I feel about that sign in Olympia.

  5. Well first, I don’t see those claims as being ridiculous.

    I think the display was provocative, sure, but the very idea of having ANY religious display on taxpayer property is provocative and offensive, so welcome to our world.

  6. Well first, I don’t see those claims as being ridiculous.

    I find state-sponsored attacks on religion to be ridiculous primarily because they are unconstitutional, but also for the fact that religion has neither hardened my heart nor enslaved my mind.

    Tangentially, if atheists were going to put up a sign, why choose one with a subjective, slippery slope fallacy?

    ..the very idea of having ANY religious display on taxpayer property is provocative and offensive..

    I disagree. I think the idea of disallowing any certain holiday display is provocative and offensive. I also don’t think it is the government’s place to pass state-sponsored, mean-spirited judgment on religion.

  7. cl,

    Where’s the slippery slope fallacy?

  8. Sean,

    Religion certainly can and does lend itself to hardened hearts and enslaved minds, but such does not entail that religion is but myth and superstition which hardens hearts and enslaves mind.

    Textbook continuum fallacy, IMO.

  9. “I find state-sponsored attacks on religion to be ridiculous primarily because they are unconstitutional”

    as are state-sponsored promotions of religion, so perhaps all of these displays should be moved off government property.

    Look, clearly what you find as offensive and what I find as offensive differ, and that’s why there shouldn’t be any of this shit. Quibbling over the interpretations of the displays is itself an argument for no displays.

  10. Philly,

    as are state-sponsored promotions of religion,

    Well, I might agree, but since you provide zero definitions I can’t say much except that it’s not as cut-and-dry an issue as you make it, at least according to Supreme Court legal precedents. There are so many variables. For example, in this context there are two types of religious displays: Those paid for with taxpayer dollars and erected on government property, and those paid for with private dollars and erected on government property. Neither are inherently unconstitutional, and both can be displayed on public property. The primary point of difference is that the former must include secular elements. It is also a common position that all instances of the latter should be accompanied by a disclaimer.

    The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Lynch v. Donnelly 1983 that the city of Pawtucket could continue to display a nativity scene as part of its Christmas display. The Supreme Court also ruled in Capitol Square Review Board v. Pinette 1995 that a KKK cross on public grounds would not give the impression of government endorsement and, hence, is not a violation of the separation of church and state.

    Now, did the Olympia nativity scene contain any secular elements? I believe it did. Hence, it is constitutional. Check the plastic reindeer doctrine. The Supreme Court has never ruled that all nativity scenes or menorahs constitute endorsement of religion. So when people say what you said, they speak from opinion and not legal precedent.

  11. “Well, I might agree, but since you provide zero definitions…”

    Did you provide definitions when you made your comment?

    You know what’s funny? The “plastic reindeer rule” argues that the religious message of a religious display is magically eliminated if part of a secular celebration of the holiday season. Your objection to the FFRF’s display ironically exposes that as bullshit for if it were true, seeing as how the display is part of secular celebration of the holiday season (otherwise the creche could not be there in Olympia), it’s message would surely be eliminated as well, yet, evidenced by your reaction, it hasn’t been. So clearly the “plastic reindeer rule” is bunk, as Brennan’s dissent in Lynch v. Donnelly argued:
    “I refuse to accept the notion implicit in today’s decision that non-Christians would find that the religious content of the creche is eliminated by the fact that it appears as part of the city’s otherwise secular celebration of the Christmas holiday.”

    Obviously, the religious message of a creche has not been eliminated as evidenced by the reactions of non-Christians year after year, yet the Courts say we’re wrong, that our reactions either don’t really exist or that they’re misguided. If that be the case, then so are reactions like yours to the FFRF’s display.

    The precedent set by County of Allegheny v. ACLU Greater Pittsburgh Chapter (1989) was the “muddy the waters rule” (my name for it) which is what most places are employing. Essentially, if you have multiple displays each with a message independent of one another, then you can’t argue the government endorses any one of them. So when you say that the FFRF’s display is “state-sponsored attacks on religion”, you speak from opinion and not legal precedent.

  12. Cl,

    I am not convinced it is a continuum fallacy.

  13. Philly,

    Your objection to the FFRF’s display ironically exposes that as bullshit for if it were true, seeing as how the display is part of secular celebration of the holiday season..

    I disagree. Yes, part of the sign constitutes a secular celebration of the holiday season. That’s not the part I have the problem with.

    As for your Brennan quote, of course a plastic reindeer doesn’t ‘remove’ the religious message – it allegedly adds a secular one. I agree with you that the clause is flimsy as (pick your favorite expletive).

    Essentially, if you have multiple displays each with a message independent of one another, then you can’t argue the government endorses any one of them.

    I concur 100%.

    So when you say that the FFRF’s display is “state-sponsored attacks on religion”, you speak from opinion and not legal precedent.

    In the spirit of rational rigueur, I have to admit you are correct unless I can produce evidence of a precedent that has defined “attacks on religion.”

    However, my opinion then becomes NULL, whereas yours has already been falsified by the Supreme Court. So there is a quite a point of difference.

    Sean,

    Is it okay if I just call you Blogonaut? I really like that name..

    I use continuum fallacy synonymously with slippery slope. Wikipedia’s definition of slippery slope is a statement which suggests that an action will initiate a chain of events culminating in an undesirable event later without establishing or quantifying the relevant contingencies. If the last sentence read, “Religion can lead to hardened hearts and enslaved minds,” I would not call it slippery slope.

    It’s ironic, because atheists are supposed to be more rational than non-atheists. I’m surprised Dan Barker and the FFRF didn’t catch this breach in logic. But of course, that’s a presumption that they didn’t catch it, when they may have been fully aware and left it worded as such for politically expedient purposes.

  14. Cl,

    Get where you are coming from. Realise though we are talking about a sign and its designed to have impact. Don’t know if its a fallacy rather than just a broad generalisation.

    And as for atheists being more rational not necessarily so. The reasons for a persons atheism need not be grounded in logic.

  15. So now what, you want a half point for a tie? I didn’t know this was a competitive event. Have you met Rhology? You two might hit it off. He’s always looking to score points.

    Clearly what’s been revealed in our little discussion CL, is the bullshit inherent in these court decisions. If not bullshit, then at least an impractical compromise. Those Justices imagined perhaps a Christian display and a Jewish one, and maybe the Catholics or Baptists would want a specific display. I doubt they ever imagined Festivus poles, FSMs, Summum pyramids or commandments, that NASTY (yet hilarious) evil Santa display from the Westboro nutters, and certainly not the FFRF’s display. I think what ultimately will happen is like what Olympia was forced to do, to put a hold on any more display requests. Now if I were the Westboro nutters, I’d sue for my place at the state house (the Festivus people should sue, too).

    The excuse Olympia is using is they don’t have the space for all these displays (ie – see “impractical” above). There’s the rub. IF you’re going to allow displays of a religious nature, then:
    1) You can’t discriminate
    2) You better have room to accommodate them all

    #2 may ultimately bring an end to this nonsense. If not, then the very obvious point (obvious to both of us) that ANY display of a religious nature is provocative and divisive regardless of how many plastic reindeer or other crap you surround it with should, and therefore none should be permitted. THAT was something I think the Founders understood.

    Even if they try to say that everything must be Christmas themed since Christmas is a federal holiday, then that would mean menorahs are out and Westboro is in. Yeah, that would go over well. You think the atheists are tough? Try pissing off the Jews. Good luck with that. ;)

  16. Philly,

    So now what, you want a half point for a tie?

    It wasn’t a tie. According to the Supreme Court, your opinion is false and mine is NULL. That’s not a tie, and points aren’t really the goal.

    Clearly what’s been revealed in our little discussion CL, is the bullshit inherent in these court decisions. If not bullshit, then at least an impractical compromise.

    So true.

    IF you’re going to allow displays of a religious nature, then: 1) You can’t discriminate 2) You better have room to accommodate them all. #2 may ultimately bring an end to this nonsense.

    I agree that it might; such would be unfortunate IMO.

    If not, then the very obvious point (obvious to both of us) that ANY display of a religious nature is provocative and divisive regardless of how many plastic reindeer or other crap you surround it with should, and therefore none should be permitted. THAT was something I think the Founders understood.

    Not sure what you’re arguing here, so I can’t say if I think the Framers agree with you, or if this point you allude is obvious to both of us. Are you proposing that ALL nativity scenes, menorahs or creches are unconstitutional endorsements of religion, under all circumstances?

    You think the atheists are tough? Try pissing off the Jews.

    One would think such might motivate the Court to NOT let Nazis target Jewish neighborhoods for their rallies, but hey…

    Sean,

    Get where you are coming from. Realise though we are talking about a sign and its designed to have impact. Don’t know if its a fallacy rather than just a broad generalisation.

    Although always an invalid form of argument, slippery slope need not always be fallacious by definition, and I do think the sign was designed to have impact.

  17. I disagree with your Nazi rally reference. Your belief that one group should not be allowed to hold a rally where an opposing group is in the majority would mean that you could never have had a civil rights rally in the South or have a gay rights rally today in Salt Lake City. The price of free speech is you have to put up with speech that you don’t like.

    The reason why there shouldn’t be religious displays on public property is because Christians lord that shit over other people. They act as if it’s placing their flag atop the hill rather than the harmless thing they claim it is and perhaps what you might see it as, CL. That’s provocative and divisive, and I don’t see how having more people plant more flags to spur on more animosity could be a good thing. When the day comes when placing displays is done without that motivation, and people are not upset by opposing points of view, then it might work. Unfortunately, I don’t see that day coming any time soon, do you?

    Btw, your opinion that the FFRF’s display is a state sponsored attack on religion was false, but who’s counting? ;)

  18. I think the controversy and actions of some of the chritian groups involved runs counter to the idea of turning the other cheek – another one of those sayings that a lot of christians seem to forget when its convenient.

  19. Yes, like thou shalt not steal.

  20. Your belief that one group should not be allowed to hold a rally where an opposing group is in the majority would mean that you could never have had a civil rights rally in the South or have a gay rights rally today in Salt Lake City.

    Well let me clarify my belief so it doesn’t get strawmanned again. I don’t believe that a group should be disallowed expression where an opposing group is in the majority. My remark to you was for humor. You noted the sensitivity of a certain racial group. I noted the SCOTUS should have also noted the sensitivity of that group. It was for humor. I don’t think the Courts should protect people from getting offended, because they can’t. So, you’re drawing an argument out of a comment I made for humorous value about a particular group in a particular context, and assuming I apply that thinking everywhere, and such is inaccurate.

    However, I don’t think the Nazis should be allowed to march through Jewish neighborhoods flying their flags. I think there is a point at which personal respect should be key. Not saying ban the Nazis, am saying curtail their expression to an appropriate context. It’s utter BS that Jewish people had to settle for that. Have gays executed millions of straights? Have blacks executed millions of whites? Do gays and blacks continue in their plots to eliminate their enemies? Are the Nazis assembling for Civil Rights? Come on. There is a big difference here.

    When the day comes when placing displays is done without that motivation, and people are not upset by opposing points of view, then it might work. Unfortunately, I don’t see that day coming any time soon, do you?

    Not if we enact an across-the-board ban as you seem to suggest. Sure, we can ban ‘em all, but I don’t think we should sacrifice liberty for convenience. IMO Christians are a big part of the problem – but so are their adversaries. Per people’s tendency on any side to whine, I think your argument has a grain of truth in that an across-the-board ban may in theory provide the least conflict. Sure, if public areas refrained from any holiday ornamentation, we wouldn’t have debates over municipal holiday displays, but then again, the notion of democracy is to procure the maximum amount of individual liberty alongside the minimum amount of individual or collective privation. An across-the-board ban sacrifices liberty for comfort and convenience; such is anti-democratic to its very core, IMO. In essence, you argue we should give up.

    The reason why there shouldn’t be religious displays on public property

    A tree, creche, nativity scene, menorah, etc. does not violate the Establishment Clause, until certain lines have been crossed. When is a decorated conifer a Christmas tree? There is a difference between a Christmas tree or holiday tree or menorah or nativity scene etc. etc. It is a difference that the Supreme Court has set precedent for. Lynch v. Donnelly, 1984 established that purely secular purposes for installing nativity scenes are possible. As far as Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, the conclusion was that acknowledgment of Christmas as a cultural phenomenon is permissible and constitutionally protected, but observance of Christmas through suggestions that we “praise God for the birth of Jesus Christ” or similar are in breach of the Establishment Clause. I’m not being rude, but you seriously don’t think there is a difference?

    Do you complain about Halloween decor in government buildings with equal fervor? Cuz you know, that’s the devil, right?

  21. If you expended as much effort in improving your ability to convey a joke as you do explaining that your stupid comments were actually supposed to be humorous and lashing out at those who didn’t see them as such, you could really help yourself and others avoid a lot of grief in the future.

    Now help me out, was “curtail their expression” another attempt at humor, because if not, then you’re once again missing the point and I could once again bring up the examples from my last comment since those in the majority could argue it’s utter BS that they should have to settle for such rallies.

    The alternative to an across the board ban is a full and open display area where ANY group can have a display and none can be denied. Pick your poison. Besides, unless these displays are going to be shrunken down to a shoebox, I don’t think many, if any government property has the space to accommodate all displays.

    “I’m not being rude, but you seriously don’t think there is a difference?”

    No. First off, the creche is at least as offensive to me as the FFRF’s display is offensive to you. Second, Christians lord their presence at the statehouse over others, so the display is almost meaningless compared to the fact that it’s there in the first place.

    Halloween is completely different.

  22. Philly,

    The alternative to an across the board ban is a full and open display area where ANY group can have a display and none can be denied. Pick your poison.

    I disagree. Message inappropriate? Denied. Not in on time? Denied.

    Halloween is completely different.

    Nah.. special pleading all the way. Do devils and demons belong in government buildings if God or gods don’t?

    Lashing out? Didn’t mean to leave that impression. Internet obscures posture, inflection, expression, etc. Me, you, and ex got off on the wrong foot over at Chappy’s, but dood, I’ve been in a happy mood this whole time. No beef with you, Philly, unless we’re talking cheesesteaks. ;)

  23. Inappropriate? Well that sounds like a debate to me, which means lawsuits. Sounds like as much fun as is going on now. Great answer.

    Halloween is a farce. People actually believe in miraculously slow burning oil and a miraculously busted hymen. Completely different.

  24. Yeah, well, you know, we probably should take the easy, comfortable path, to take every possible measure to avoid debate. When liberty is in doubt, throw ‘em all out!

    So, angels and cherubs = endorsement but devils and demons no? That’s really what you think?

  25. I should have been more clear. True, debate over inappropriateness of displays sounds benign and healthy, but I was envisioning it being used as a smokescreen to exclude what you personally don’t like.

    I also think the whole argument is bullshit, this idea that religions can play nicely together. At the heart of each lies offensive views to the others. It just seems disingenuous to create this “inappropriate standard”. It’s like a contest to see which can put on the most innocuous disguise. Cute baby and farm animals? Oh, very nice. Candelabra? Very nice.

    Also, WA’s Solicitor General seems to interpret things the way I am:
    “The State’s Solicitor General, Maureen Hart, says as long as the Capitol allows one religious display – it must allow them all.

    Maureen Hart: “In many respects what the United States Supreme Court has said is once you open the forum for speech, you give up the right to say something doesn’t fit based on its content.”

    “So, angels and cherubs = endorsement but devils and demons no?”

    First, this smells like a strawman. Where are you getting these so-called angel or cherub displays? We’re talking Christmas, and that means creches for Christians. Is there a specific objection to an angel display you’re referring to, or are you offering a hypothetical?

    2nd, angel or devil displays by themselves do not endorse a specific religion.

    3rd, you’d be as hard-pressed to argue the perceived religiosity of Halloween as you’d be St. Patty’s day. YES, their roots are religious, but that’s been HUGELY overshadowed by the secular aspects of the holiday and I’d say most don’t even know the original impetus for each. I’d be willing to wager most have no idea Halloween has anything to do with religion at all.

    4th, such displays would fail the “reasonable observer test”, especially compared to a creche display.

  26. wow that was a lot to read through… And I never thought it was too much to ask for our government buildings to be secular and plain. Hell, the Lutheran's prefer it like that, so it can't be that painful. That seems pretty cut and dry to me, logical and straight forward, for a relatively unimportant issue which still seems to have important implications.

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